Liebster Awarding Kind of Monday

After miraculously managing to survive the Mother Of All Mondays today, I stumble through the door after 5pm, anticipating a cold shower and even colder Mojito…it was the kind of Monday that bad Facebook memes are made of & I was seething with frustration.

Nothing would surprise me by this evening. Bring it, Monday. Give me your best shot, b*tch, I dare ya.

Bwahahaha! What do you know..? Monday delivered!

When I did finally manage to grab that Mojito and sit down to catch up on the cyber-activity of the day I discovered that another blogger decided to drop a happy bomb on me by awarding me for one of these -

So thank you, Keri from My Thought Exactly! You really helped flip a bad day into something salvageable and unexpectedly pleasant!

This award is to promote quality blogs & to help promote the work of bloggers who may not have a large following.  Part of getting this award is giving it forward and to award it to 3-5 blogs you enjoy that have under 200 followers. I cannot verify the follower count on all of the blogs but they deserve to be recognized either way.

My Picks…

Ronin’s Journey

The NonConformist

Two Dogs In The Kitchen

Beware The Believers

Dear Kitty

And just because this is my blog & I can make the rules here, I’m adding a 6th blog -

Voiceless In America

Also, to help readers get to know you – the receiver of the award should copy & answer the questions below.

My Answers… 

1. What’s your favorite word in the English language?

Spontaneous; both for the way it sounds as well as the meaning. 

2. What are you listening to as you write the answer to this question (if not music, what sounds)?

My favorite 20’s and 30’s mostly-blues playlist on YouTube. Current tune: I Hear The Blues with Memphis Slim, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Lonnie Johnson. Check it out, it’s a jamming tune.

3. What was the last thing you ate that you really, really enjoyed?

Fried pickles in New Orleans. *Sigh*

4. You’re at a job interview, and the interviewer asks you to make them laugh. What do you do or say?

Panic & freeze like ice cubes on a snowman’s ass. Then, spend half the night thinking of all the clever and cool things I COULD have said.

5. The world is about to blow up, but you’re being saved, and are allowed to take five things to another planet (aside from the clothes you are currently wearing), where you and only 999 other people will now exist (ignore the bleakness of this question). What do you take? 

My husband. My stuffed duck. A copy of Atlas Shrugged. Seeds. My battle-axe.

6. What’s your favorite drink to consume first thing in the morning? 

Black coffee brewed in my old-school, stove-top coffee pot that has been properly seasoned and stained by many happy brews around a campfire. Served up scorching hot, with a dash of grounds in the bottom – in my duck mug, of course. Any diversion from said ritual may cause harm to any and all other beings present…I cannot be held responsible for any pre-coffee actions or internet posts.

7. What was the last book to make you cry? 

Hrm…wow, I read a lot of historical biographies and political books which are not exactly tear-jerkers…so this one is tough. I’ll go out on a memory limb and say Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

8. What’s the most ridiculous or silliest way you’ve been injured? 

A bloody nose from a fist fight with a boy in the hospital nursery when I was 4…I don’t care what that cry-baby said, it was NOT his turn on the bouncy-springy horse yet!

9. What’s your favorite city in the world? Why? 

New Orleans. I dig the energy and artistic creativity that flows from every beautiful moldy old building and cemetery. Oh, and they have the best fried pickles in the world…

Continue reading

Go Directly To Jail – And Die There

“An inmate with a history of seizures was denied emergency care by a prison nurse who overrode a doctor’s orders for an ambulance, and within an hour the man suffered irreversible brain damage that led to his death, according to documents obtained by the Star Tribune.” 

Stories like the one here are what lead to my interest in working for the prison reform cause several years ago. My one concern over the privatization of state industries stems from stories like this where a for-profit entity causes abuse or loss of life in an effort to cut corners and increase profits. With more and more people being locked up for non-crimes, we should all be concerned about the simultaneous rise and increase in the use of private prison corporations and all of the subsidiaries of the prison industry.

Not only was this man effectively murdered by the state, his death came only 3 months prior to his expected release date. Whatever money the state may have saved by choosing to hand over the responsibility of incarcerating its citizens can now be spent on a settlement or fighting the lawsuit being brought against them.

And lest anyone think this was a fluke, accident or possibly a freak, one-time event – you can see a list of wrongdoings committed by Corizon here. Every single for-profit prison & prison health provider, have rap-sheets stretching over a mile long…per each company. This is not simply one wrong-doing or mistake by one company operating in just one state…Corizon has had problems from Alabama to NM, up to MN and in numerous other states. This is standard operating procedure – NOT an accident committed by one employee in one place.

More from the article, “…events in the hours before Johnson was found “pulseless” in his cell raise questions about denial of care because of the rationed-care philosophy of the for-profit contractor Minnesota has hired to care for the state’s 9,400 prisoners. Corizon Inc., formerly known as Correctional Medical Services, has had a contract with the state since 1998, worth $28 million this year.

One of the contract’s major cost-saving provisions says that Corizon is not required to provide overnight medical staff in the state’s prisons, except Oak Park Heights and Faribault, where medically complicated, elderly and terminally ill prisoners are held.

No doctors, who are all Corizon employees, work in the state’s prisons after 4 p.m. or on weekends. Corrections nurses, who are state employees, work seven days a week, but their last shifts end at 10:30 p.m. The last time the Rush City prison had 24-hour medical coverage was in 2002….” Full Story Here on Star-Tribune

It may be easy enough to dismiss this story and think, “oh well, if you want decent medical care you shouldn’t commit crimes and land in prison” but please don’t be so quick to cast this off  as something ordinary folks shouldn’t care about. As I stated in the beginning of this article, more and more people are landing in prison for NON-crimes…laws are tightening around our necks every day and it is getting harder and harder for average Americans to avoid thinking about those in prison as more and more have family members or friends getting caught in the net.

Consider the arrests made every day that are not only unjust, but often times, outright illegal or without just cause. Film an officer while standing in your own yard? Go directly to jail. Argue for your rights during a traffic stop? Go directly to jail, do not pass Go. Defend your family against armed intruders parading in SWAT uniforms who might have the wrong address? Off to jail with you, criminal!

And heaven help you if you fall ill while in one of their cages…because no one in the prison – not even the paid staff – will be there to help at all…

Tip of the hat to Wesman Todd Shaw for the original link to this story.

Bottle Of Wine – Wine in History and For Your Health.


Another rockin’ article by my friend and co-hellraiser, Wesman Todd Shaw!

Excerpt – Ancient Rome played a huge part in the proliferation of wine culture. Before Rome created a civilization based on laws, wine was something that only Feudal Lords or the King’s courts could enjoy. During the long pre empire and during the Roman Empire years – everyone could afford and consume wine.

Viticulture and wine production spread outward from all the roads that led to Rome, and soon, every province with Roman connections were enjoying the fruits of various vines. The techniques and principle mechanics of Roman viticulture are still in effect today, in our high tech world – sometimes we realize that the ancients just DID have things right. Early on in Roman wine drinking culture Greek wines were the prized vintages, and Roman domestic wine fetched lower prices. But by the second century B.C. the Golden Age of wine production had begun, and it was estimated that Roman citizens drank forty seven million gallons of wine annually.

Read the full article in its awesome entirety, here –  Bottle Of Wine – Wine in History and For Your Health..